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ATP Tennis Betting

The last singles match of the 2018 ATP World Tour season is set for Sunday, when Alexander Zverev faces the daunting task of trying to take down Novak Djokovic in the title match of the World Tour Finals. Sean Calvert thinks the German has half a chance of making life tough for the Serb.


Saturday’s afternoon session at the O2 was another example of why it’s become so hard to have a bet in a Roger Federer match these days, with the veteran Swiss enduring a poor day in a straight sets loss to Alexander Zverev.

Federer didn’t serve well, while Zverev did and that was key for the young German, who advances to the final to face a quick rematch with the man he lost to a few days ago in the group stage, Novak Djokovic.

And it was the Serb that was involved in a losing bet of ours on Saturday night, but it was really a self-inflicted wound from Kevin Anderson that prevented any real chance of a tie break in their opening set.

Anderson landed only two of 10 first serves in the opening game of the match and I’d said Anderson needed to serve somewhere near his best, which he certainly didn’t.

Indeed, Anderson even got out-aced by Djokovic (6-4), which tells its own story.

We’ll be coming put of this tournament either dead even or with a small profit, depending on how today’s wager goes, and I’d take that every time in this week of the season.

ATP World Tour Finals – Sunday, November 18

The final is set for 18:00 UK time on Sunday – kind of in-between an afternoon and night session sort of time and in it Novak Djokovic will be trying to emulate Alexander Zverev’s coach Ivan Lendl, who was the last man to win the year-end knockabout without dropping a set (1986).

Alexander Zverev vs Novak Djokovic

So, Novak has the chance to not only tie Lendl’s achievement, but he can also draw level with Roger Federer in terms of the number of year-end titles won (Federer is currently on six and Djokovic five).

The Serb also has it within his sights to become the first player to win the year-end event without dropping serve since such records began in 1991. He’s already achieved that feat once recently – at the Shanghai Masters.

Zverev has already moved ahead of Juan Martin Del Potro in the world rankings to number four and he would close to within 35 points of Federer in third spot if he were to win on Sunday.

Going on Djokovic’s form this week and his 15-match winning streak (since losing the Queen’s final to Marin Cilic) versus top-10 opponents this season and his earlier win this week over Zverev it hardly surprising that he’s a 1.13 chance today.

That price is about the same as he was earlier in the week to beat Zverev when they met in the group stages, but before we get too carried away with the Djokovic romp to the title narrative he did lose as a 1.20 shot to Karen Khachanov in a Masters Final a few weeks ago on indoor hard.

Djokovic has actually lost four of his last seven M1000 finals (lost as a 1.26 chance to Zverev in one of those in Rome last season) and it’s been forgotten a bit that Zverev did come close to serving for the opening set against Djokovic in that round robin clash here at the O2.

The German failed on break point to lead *5-4 on that occasion and that performance against Federer on Saturday was the best he’s played since starting the hard court season so well in Washington DC.

Of late he’s had a real tendency to settle into playing passively and almost pushing his forehand around, but when he serves well and hits through that side he’s a force to be reckoned with for sure.

Of that round robin match against Zverev, Djokovic said: “I played very well in the group stage against Sascha, but I don’t think he was close to his best,” which is interesting.

If the German’s return to form (after previously moaning about being sick, tired and the season being far too long) continues on Sunday then this could be a decent match.

Zverev only won 35% of his second serve points that day earlier in the week and he tailed off badly in set two, but his serve stats this week are very good: holding serve 86.7% of the time and hitting almost once ace per service game, winning 80% of his first serve points (50.6% on second serve).

Clearly the second serve will be the area for Novak to potentially take hold of this match, but from our point of view I think the only realistic bet is to side with Zverev and hope he carries on his form.

Zverev to win set one is the bold wager at 4.40, while over 9.5 games in set one or over 10.5 look other value options.

Interestingly, 13 of Djokovic’s last 14 M1000 finals have all been settled (win or lose) in straight sets and he’s only played one tie break set in his last 39 sets in Masters 1000 title matches.

On form it looks like another Djokovic win is on the cards, but if we get a performance from Zverev on Sunday he has the potential to at least make it a scrap.

Article written by Unibet - Sean Calvert

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